Let It Snow
Burgh Hall Dunoon
22 Oct 2021 to 14 Nov 2021
Private view 21 Oct 2021
Cakes, food and wine, flowers and cards, balloons. bunting, sunshine, my birthday was wonderful and the best gift of all was to have my family here Together for the firs time in a long long time.
Relaxing in the sun (Laura nd Scott went for a swim in the loch) it felt almost normal!
The gorgeous cup and saucer is a present from my sister.
I hope you have some good things to celebrate too. I am also celebrating the loss of that five pounds I was aiming to lose between the Easter cake and the birthday cake - keeping it off will be the next challenge.
The next project is an exhibition....
Mindful of sorrow, I am nevertheless celebrating. Both the dark and the light are important.
The sparkling light in the image sent by LizN - thnak you so much! - is brilliant. It's by Fanny Brate, and very reminiscent of Carl Larsson but with more light. Wonderfully skillful painting. After all, how do you paint light? Only by painting the shadows.
The book was a gift with a subscription to Country Living magazine decades ago, and it reminds me to make a little effort to celebrate all the small things. As I have often said, it would be churlish not to.
What can you celebrate today?
What is your new normal like?
Mine so far is - slow.
Slow enough to listen to the robin and the wren, the pigeeon, the oystercatcher and the woodpecker, and I think I heard a cuckoo call the other day.
Slow enough to notice the scent from the balsam poplar which is a couple of hundred metres away, and the skimmia (phhotographed).
Slow enough for a gentle walk with a friend in the sunshine.
A pause for refelction before thinking how to proceed.
It feels as if the world has been chastened, which is a strange notion I know....
..there's a lot going on. As long as the weather holds it's walks with friends and tea and scones or even lunch in the garden. Joy.
A new scone recipe - flour, cheese, milk and soda! Quick and easy though I'm not sure I like the texture as much as my other recipe...... Have you tried lemonade scones? Flour, cream and lemonade.
I am listening to a series of lectures about classical architecture at the same time as trying to find out more about the beach huts on the Clyde. What a spectrum of human architecture! It could hardly be more extreme.
What are you exploring at the moment?
They say curiosity kiled the cat, but if you are curious at least you are never bored.
..but not as you knoow them.
Near the Cloch Lighthouse on the Firth of Clyde are some structures which have always intruiged me. On yesterday's walk I got the chance of a closer look.
They are below the level of the main road and even from the pavement you might easily miss them tucked into the bank on the rocky shore. They are like shacks. Basic but very strong to withstand winter storms. They face west and the prevailing winds. There is nothing pretty about them. They are mostly black (tarred perhaps) and one seems to be a shipping continer. How did they get it down there? If they do have windows they were boarded over. They don't have signs or names or easy access - thugh one has a flag, another a chimney and I did see two solar panels. The only thing beautiful is the view across the Firth.
I wonder if they began as fishermen's huts but I've not been able to find out much - yet....
Thank you Grace for leading me to this!
Oops! If this will not play a notice will say Watch on YouTube - if you click on tht it should play....sorry about that.
A Yay moment, as restrictions here in Scoatland are eased earlier than expected!
I can see my fanily.
I can see the friend I have not seen for a year.
I can go on that much anticipated holiday with friends.
The gallery want some images fo the exhibition.
I feel as though I am getting my life back!
I so hope things are improvving with you too, wherever you are.
Homebound still, my domestic life has never received so much attention but that seems quite appropriate as my ambition during lockdown was to 'put my house in order'. A lot has been achieved, most of it of the boring but necessary variety.
Fresh snow on the hills and early frost on the grass, plus bitingly cold winds has meant less gardeining, so here I am sharing my favourite bowls with you and hoping you are not getting too bored loking at more things! If I don't get out and about soon I will be photographing the cupboard under the sink and boring you with it! (I promise I won't.)
But maybe you too are reviewing your home and its contents and enjoying the things around you in a new way?
In looking over some of my favourite things I see ome - that my friends know I like bowls, and two - that many beautifully made objects can be found for very modest prices.
After watching this film this morning (before washing my hair or making the bed - such is lockdown) I realised I have a nice collection of bowls, which probably started with these Bernard Leach soup bowls. I bought a set of six of them when I was 19 and working as a waitress for the summer in a hotel in St Ives.. They have been well used!
I had done some pottery at Glasgow School of Art but I wasn't any good at it. It did however give me an appreciation of ceramics which I have always enjoyed.
I didn't set out to make a collection, and none of them are expensive (although the Leach ones might be expensive now! The last time I saw any of them was in a glass cabinet in the Victoria and Albert Museum.) Two of the best ones came from IKEA. The quite large and very elegant one above has a crackle glaze, a subtle oriental looking colour and was made in Portugal for IKEA. I love it.
Do you have a 'collection' of anything in your home that you particularly enjoy?
A reverence for things is what I think I first liked about Marie Kondo's appproach to tidying, and in this film about Japanese Tea Bowls I get a sense of that. Also in this film of a Danish potter Paying Honest Attention.
The Goldmark Gallery are especially known for ceramics and prints and they have a brilliant collection of films - hours of education and entertainment if you are tired of TVand Netflix!
Another favourite of mine is this one about Matisse, who became more and more courageous as he grew older.
These films are longer than the Philip Mould ones. Today I have watched several as it has been so cold with lashing rain.
I've been very cosy, having brought back out the winter throws. I hope you are cosy too.
Enjoy the things that are around you says Philip Mould in one of the short films I linked to yesterday, so I have been moving things around a little, and bringing things out of cupboards to enjoy again.
Do you make changes as the Japanese traditionally do, with different objects for different seasons? I think I appreciate them all the more if I have not seen them for a bit, or if I put them in a different location, or a different light. The little glass cube with the twirly stems has been on the top of a high bookshelf for years!
Have you any forgotten things which you might enjoy again if you move them into the light of day?
I am sticking to tulips and pot plants (see yesterday's post).
I am greatly enjoying Philip Mould's second series of Art In Isolation short films from his beautiful home.
Brilliant sunshine all day, but freezing and with a strong wind carrying the odd flake of snow.
For almost two weeks I have had what I thought was a bad cold, with headaches, and I was wondering why it was lasting so long. Two nights ago it occured to me that I had jugs of daffodils in every room in the house and that perhaps.....
I used to suffer from hay fever but it had faded over the last few years to almost nothing at all. I removed all the daffodils to the studio and! the headaches have gone and I have stopped sneezing!
I think I will just have to enjoy them in the garden. They are wonderful this year.
Thank you all for the interesting comments on yesterday's post. It's good to share with, as Gwendoline put it 'sympathetic travellers' and it's fascinating to hear from different parts of the world. Transitioning to a more nornal existence will be different for each of us, but our feelings about it may be very similar.
Today there is frost on the grass but full sun is forecast for the whole day and I will be out in the garden. There is still a lot of work to be done and I am clearing and mulching around each clump of flowers as they appear, so it's primulas, pulmonarias and daffodil Thalia today and I'll be having my meals outside.
Wishing you all a happy Easter weekend.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)